This page explains how to setup a Socialhome instance using Docker. While the core of Socialhome is in one single container, the setup is a bit more complex due to other services required. These can either be other containers, running on the host or other machines.

If you have issues following the supported instructions, please contact us via Community.

The application

The main application container has the following process controlled by the main Circus process:

  • Daphne for http and websocket traffic

  • The configured number of RQ workers

  • An RQ scheduler

The application container does not serve media.

Docker images

The containers can be found at the GitLab docker registry.

Each version will have a tag and additionally the latest tag contains the latest version.

Memory requirements

On average the container will require approximately 360mb of RAM plus approx 75mb per RQ worker. The default RQ worker count is 1 though on a busy instance you may need many more. The amount of RQ workers can be controlled with the environment variable RQWORKER_NUM. The default daphne worker count is also 1 and can be controlled with the DAPHNE_WORKER_NUM environment variable.


The following routing needs to be done:

  • Everything to port 23564

TLS should be terminated by a load balancer before sending traffic to the application container.

The load balancer should also set the following headers:

  • X-Forwarded-Proto: https


Two paths should be mounted on the host and persisted over recreation of the container:

  • /app/socialhome/media as read write. The app will write uploaded media to this path.

  • /app/var as read write. The app will maintain things like search indexes here.


Socialhome uses environment variables for configuration. At minimum, you need to modify the following:

  • DATABASE_URL (PostgreSQL connection URI)

  • DJANGO_SECRET_KEY a random secret key for sessions etc - make this long and do NOT change this after setup.

  • DJANGO_ALLOWED_HOSTS your Socialhome domain

  • SOCIALHOME_DOMAIN your Socialhome domain

  • REDIS_HOST hostname of your Redis instance

  • RQWORKER_NUM the amount of RQ worker processes you want to run (default 1)

  • DAPHNE_WORKER_NUM the amount of daphne processes you want to run (default 1)

  • DJANGO_ACCOUNT_ALLOW_REGISTRATION either “True” or “False” depending whether you want to allow signups.

For more configuration values see Configuration.

Other services

PostgreSQL and Redis are set up as normal to their documentation. We recommend the latest versions of both, they can either run as containers or on the network. Both the PostgreSQL and the Redis data paths should be persisted over container recreation, if running in containers.

The load balancer needs to take the following roles:

  • termination of TLS

  • serving the media

Media serving

Whatever load balancer is used, ensure to route /media path prefix to it. The load balancer must handle TLS for this and deny indexing of the files. The files found under this path should be the same ones mounted as read write to the application container.